GEORGE BURTON, a prominent citizen of Cherokee County, has been for the past 24 years a resident of Hallowell. He is a member of the board of managers of the Kansas State Soldiers' Home, and is identified with public offices and private business enterprises. He was born in Jasper County, Illinois, October 1, 1841, and is a son of Alfred and Hettie (Burch) Burton.
Alfred Burton was born in Greene County, North Carolina, in 1811, and was 10 years old when he accompanied his parents to Indiana, and went with them, in 1839, to Illinois. There he entered land in Jasper County, and died, aged 56 years. In early life a Democrat, he later became a Republican. He married Hettie Burch, who was born near Louisville, Kentucky, in 1812, and died in Montgomery County, Kansas, aged 60 years. They had nine children, the four who survived infancy being: George; Wesley, who died 16 years ago, leaving a wife and two sons; John, deceased; and Mrs. Hettie Gooding, of the State of Washington.
The subject of this sketch was reared on his father's farm in Jasper County, Illinois, and was living the quiet life of an agriculturist during the early years of the Civil War. On January 11, 1864, he enlisted in Company B, 97th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., under Capt. G. W. Armstrong and Col. Victor Bifquin, and served two years and five months, mostly in the South. Before seeing any active service, he suffered from an attack of smallpox, at Springfield, Illinois. Upon the close of the war, he returned to Jasper County and in the fall of 1866 removed to Coles County. There he was engaged in farming until March, 1870, when he came to Kansas and settled in Neosho County. He followed farming there for three and a half years, and then bought a farm in Montgomery County. During his residence there, he served several years as trustee of his township.
In 1880, Mr. Burton located at Hallowell and embarked in the hardware business with Columbus Thompson, under the firm name of Burton & Thompson. This continued one year, when Mr. Burton went into the grocery line and conducted a store for two years. He then became interested in insurance and real estate, a business he successfully handled until the election of President Harrison made him the appointee of the administration, as postmaster of the town. After serving five years he resumed his real estate interests, in the meantime filling many responsible political positions.
He took a very active part in promoting the party harmony which resulted in the election of Governor Stanley, by whom he was later appointed a member of the board of managers of the Kansas State Soldiers' Home, at Fort Dodge. To the work of the board Mr. Burton gave such faithful attention that his services were deemed necessary through another term and after serving five and a half years, he is still holding this responsible position. Other offices in which he has acceptably served the people are of a local character, mainly as trustee of different townships, but the duties of all have been faithfully performed.
On November 8, 1868, Mr. Burton was married to Elizabeth Harris, who was born in Jasper County, Illinois, April 11, 1843, and died June 26, 1903. She was a daughter of Daniel and Ellen (Van Natta) Harris, of Kentucky. The only survivor of their five children is Ellsworth L., who is the present prosecuting attorney of Labette County, Kansas.
Ellsworth L. Burton was born at Mattoon, Illinois, in April, 1868, but was reared in Kansas He attended the common schools, spent one year at the Fort Scott State Normal School, and then began the reading of the law at Columbus, with Col. A. S. Dennison. After being admitted to the bar, he engaged in practice, forming the well known firm of Wheatley & Burton, of Columbus. He then went to Scammon, where he served two years as city attorney. Later he served one year in the same capacity at Oswego, and in 1902 was elected county attorney of Labette County. He occupies a very prominent position in legal circles in Cherokee and Labette counties.
For the past 28 years, George Burton has been an elder in the Christian Church, during which time he had advanced its interests in many sections, founding churches and establishing religious communities. For two years he traveled for the Southeastern Kansas Conference.
Politically he has been firm in his adherence to the Republican party, and is one of its confidential advisers in this locality. For more than 16 years he was a member, and a part of the time chairman, of the Republican County Central Committee and has had the pleasure of being a delegate to the conventions which nominated Governors Stanley and Bailey. He belongs to Colonel Givens Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Hallowell, and was a delegate to the National Encampment held at Chicago. His fraternal associations include the Masons and various insurance organizations.
History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by David Helman, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5-7-97
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